Changing of the Guard

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The new-look Cavaliers continued their facelift on Monday night, dealing Delonte West and Sebastian Telfair to Minnesota in exchange for combo guard Ramon Sessions and center Ryan Hollins.

The deal is the first major move since LeBron James’ defection and sees the new-look Cavaliers add some much-needed scoring, speed and size. The Wine and Gold also acquired an additional second round pick from Minnesota.

The 24-year-old Sessions comes off a down year in Minnesota in which he never really flourished alongside rookie Johnny Flynn. In Cleveland, he’ll be teamed up with his friend and former running mate in Milwaukee – Mo Williams. And in Byron Scott’s proposed up-tempo offense, he could rekindle the potential that saw him average over 15 ppg in 39 starts one year earlier.

Delonte’s exodus marks the end of a relationship that was sometimes fruitful, sometimes funny and sometimes frustrating. In the end, it was more the latter that the previous two. Sixty percent of the starting lineup that faced Orlando in the Eastern Finals just 14 months ago is now gone.

Acquired at the trade deadline, Sebastian Telfair, who showed small glimpses of brilliance which made him a New York legend, but ultimately was just passing through Cleveland. This will be his second tour of duty with the T-Wolves.

Meanwhile, the Cavaliers transformation is slowly taking shape. They were able to stay with young talent, dealing for a competent scorer and assist man. Sessions is also a player whose best days are ahead of him.

In three seasons, the Myrtle Beach native is averaging an even 10.0 ppg, but he’s shown flashes across the board. Sessions averaged 7.5 assists as a rookie. As a sophomore, he turned in a 20-point, 24-assist, eight-rebound effort against Chicago, dropped 44 points on the Pistons and notched a triple-double against the Lakers.

Last season in Minnesota, the 6-3, 190-pound Sessions’ numbers – as well as his minutes – dipped across the board. But he’ll be featured more in Cleveland, a squad that will need to replace some offense.

“In Ramon, we’re excited to add a young, multi-dimensional guard, and with Ryan, we’re adding a young, athletic center,” said Cavs GM Chris Grant. “We think both Ramon and Ryan are really good fits for this team. We’re also happy to add another asset for the future with the additional draft pick.”

In Ryan Hollins, the recently vertically-challenged Cavaliers roster reacquires some size in the middle. The 26-year-old Hollins is coming off his best statistical season of his four-year career. Like Sessions, Hollins shined in his role as a starter – averaging 9.2 points on .610 shooting in 27 starts last year.

In terms of the draft pick, the Cavaliers gradually add assets to a collection that includes four picks from Miami over the next several years.

Monday’s move wasn’t a blockbuster and Sessions doesn’t replace what the Wine and Gold lost. But the addition of Sessions to Byron Scott’s up-tempo approach, hint that the 2010-11 Cavaliers will be fun to watch.